Matera, Italy, 2000

SEPTEMBER 2000 – View from the Belvedere di Piazza Giovanni Pascoli across the historic town quarter in Matera, Italy, known as “The Sassi”. Several houses have been drilled into the mountain. Photo © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

We extensively traveled across Italy in 2000. On our way along the east coast we stopped in Matera which is a typical Italian town – with a twist: they have a town quarter called “The Sassi” with many unusual homes that have been drilled into the mountain. Thousands of people lived in this quarter up to the 1950s.

Some of the appartments could be visited. They were dark and filthy, resembling more holes than places to live. When we were exploring the place on a hot afternoon, we noticed that it was really quiet in the quarter, and barely anyone could be seen on the streets. A bit spooky, actually.

Some of the homes have been restored with modern equipment, and the place is much more popular with tourists today. In any event, Matera is definitely worth a visit.

The high resolution image

Capture Date09-SEP-2000
LocationMatera, Italy
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
LensCanon FD 17mm f/4
Image SourceFuji Slide Film
Digital Image SourceMinolta Dimage Scan Elite II
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions3650 x 2349 Pixel
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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